More and more applications for child poverty fund, but fewer donations Money

The National Fund for Child Welfare is receiving fewer and fewer donations to help families in poverty. And at the same time, the number of families who are struggling to cope continues to rise.

Saïda El Amrani (51) has physical ailments and has lost her job, which has meant that she now has unemployment benefits. With only a minimum income, she has to take care of her five children. “Difficult,” she calls her situation. Every day is survival, she has to constantly see how much she spends. When she’s in the store, she tries to save on everything she can. ,, I do not look at what we should eat per week, but during the day. In the supermarket I look at the discounts. If the spaghetti is one plus one free, I’ll take it. ”

Nearly 2 million people in poverty

The situation in El Amrani is not an isolated situation. Last month, the Central Planning Bureau estimated that up to 1.2 million households may have trouble paying their fixed costs due to the high energy bill. Irene Boersma from the National Child Aid Fund also notes this. The organization receives several requests for help, from an average of fifty requests a day for corona to an average of 100 requests a day now.

And that problem gets even bigger when you consider that donations to aid organizations are declining. “People keep their money because of inflation. It makes sense, because the bill for our donors is also higher. But it makes it harder for us to raise money.” “A big difference with the beginning of the corona era, when people gave huge amounts of money. With the bill that has skyrocketed for everyone, this is no longer possible, as much as people might want.” We know there are many families that cannot be helped right now. “

Saïda (51) on a bicycle. She lived a carefree life until a divorce brought her into deep poverty. © Youssra El Ouelhani, daughter of Saïda.

pay 750 euros extra

Boersma was also shocked when she saw a bill on the doormat. “I also have to pay 750 euros extra for the heating.” Significant cost for her, but definitely for people who can hardly afford it anymore. This time is extra complicated for El Amrani. “It really is a matter of trial and error, especially now that everything is so expensive.” She tries at all costs to save on the high energy bill. If her kids talk on the phone for too long, she quickly gets rid of it.

Nibud, a knowledge and advice center in household economics, also sees people doing everything they can to save as much as they can. “But it stops at some point,” spokeswoman Gabriella Bettonville said. She therefore urges politicians to take action. The one-time energy surcharge of 800 euros and the VAT reduction from 9 to 21 percent is insufficient, she says. “More needs to be done, but what is politics really.”


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It is really appropriate and measurable, especially now that everything is as expensive as it is now.

Saida El Amrani (51)

Seek help

In the meantime, both Nibud and the National Fund for Child Welfare mainly want to advise people in poverty to seek help from the municipality. “It is now the silence before the storm. We expect the biggest problems to come. On this, we note that people wait about five years before seeking help. I would like to advise: start well in advance. ”

Also, realize that you do not just need help. It must first begin with conversations and other things. So it is very important to ring the bell if you are not sure if you should handle it. Because once you are in debt, it takes years to get out, “reminds Irene Boersma from the National Fund for Children’s Aid.

El Amrani understands that many people find it difficult to seek help. ,, I have always had a good salary and a nice house. I was always the one helping others, now it’s the other way around. “Sometimes I still have the feeling that people are leaning towards me, when of course that is no longer the case.” Still, she has learned to handle the help she receives. “There are so many wonderful people who can help you.” She will also encourage people to stay positive, no matter how difficult the situation may be. “Life goes on, with or without poverty.”

Families in poverty

By 2020, 221,000 children up to the age of 18 were part of a household with an income below the low-income threshold, according to research from Statistics Netherlands. It was the lowest figure in 25 years, but high inflation and energy bills threaten to increase the number of families in poverty again. In May 2022, consumers were 8.8 percent more expensive than the year before. If energy and other taxes remain high, up to 1.2 million households may have difficulty paying their fixed costs, a ‘stress test’ from the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) showed last month.

Families living in poverty can turn to various aid organizations. Via the page Hulpbijarmoede.nl, parents can enter their place of residence and thus see how they can get help. There is also the site Samenvoorallekinderen.nl, a platform where parents and caregivers can submit applications.

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